Air Quality Index And Its Significance -

Air Quality Index And Its Significance

air quality index

Air pollution has emerged as one of the major contributors to health issues in the world population. It is a severe problem and leads to the degradation of the environment. Human beings are contracting numerous health problems while there is a considerable change in the environmental cycles and patterns. Hence determining its levels is important and requires certain tools. Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool that determines the air quality status. It changed the complex air quality data regarding various pollutants into a single number and color. The Air Quality Index has six categories of air quality. The various air qualities are good, satisfactory, moderately polluted, poor, very poor, and severe. All of these categories are decided based on the concentration values of air pollutants and the health impacts and hazards they cause. As the Air Quality Index increases, a huge percentage of the population is more likely to experience health hazards.

How To Calculate Air Quality Index?

A lit up city at night

To calculate the Air Quality Index, you will need the concentration of a pollutant over a certain period provided by an air monitoring system. The system used to convert air pollutant concentration to Air Quality Index varies from country to country. The process involves dividing major pollutants into ranges. Each range is assigned with a descriptor and a color code. There are sub-indices for each pollutant and breakpoints for these sub-indices. A pollutant’s index value is its concentration expressed in terms of the percentage of an applicable standard. The index for any given pollutant is its concentration which is expressed as a percentage of a relevant standard. 

Significance Of Air Quality Index

A sky filled with lots of smoke

Human beings are the individuals who are the major contributor to air pollution are also the ones who play a crucial role in improving the air quality of a nation. Hence the citizens should be well-informed about both the local and global air pollution levels and should be educated and introduced to the ways to mitigate them. Just a broad overview of high air pollution concentrations is not sufficient for the layman to assess the urban air quality. They need information on the pollution levels and the associated potential health risks presented in a simple and understandable format. For example, doctors use the index in predicting an increase in cases of respiratory distress. 

Effective and understandable representation of air quality is extremely important. Along with indexing the air quality, the index also provides information on how the quality of the air one inhales can be improved. The government and individuals can study the AQI and take effective measures to combat the universal problem of air pollution. This index particularly is curated, keeping the people sensitive towards air pollution in mind and advises them on ways to protect themselves from the various health risks associated with hazardous air quality levels.

Individuals who spend most of their time working outside should have the knowledge of the air quality index and keep the levels of air pollution in mind as they are prone to higher exposure to pollution. They may have difficulty breathing or may contract other respiratory diseases when air pollution levels are severe.

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